Marlborough Communications Limited (MCL) has been awarded a £1.5m (USD1.9 million) contract to supply four Mission Adaptable Platform System (MAPS) Unmanned Ground Vehicles (UGVs) to the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD)’s Remote Patrol Vehicle (RPV) Experimentation Programme. Cohort, which MCL is part of, it was announced in a press release on 4 March. The UGVs have been developed by Australian defence technology company Praesidium Global Pty Ltd, which has agreed an exclusive UK and Europe supply arrangement with MCL to initially support Spiral 1 of the RPV programme.
The MAPS UGV, which MCL will supply to the MoD as prime contractor, is a skid steer, six-wheel drive vehicle powered by batteries and a three-cylinder diesel generator – providing efficient power for battery charging and ensuring clean power for digital electronic system support. The generator offers a fully effective recharge with four litres of fuel, while the UGV can carry 100 litres of diesel enabling as much as 20 days of operation. The vehicle is designed to enable generator start and main battery recharging from flat battery condition.
MCL will also solely provide payload solutions for the MAPS UGV in Spiral 1 of the programme, which includes a casualty evacuation solution for two casualties and a medic, as well as a power distribution box for exporting power to equipment. As part of the contract MCL will deliver user training for its payload solution, covering safe and competent operation as well as terrain level training to enable users to understand the fundamental limit of capabilities.
The RPV Experimentation Programme is an UK MoD Future Capability Group project to determine the future requirements of UGVs through a series of trials. Spiral 1 focuses on four key areas: resupplying platoon soldiers, reducing load burden on soldiers, casualty evacuation and power export for charging and supply of platoon level electrical equipment. The UGVs will be trialled for 90 days over a period of 12 months on a mixture of tracks, off-road and hard surfaces as detailed by UK training standards.